César Sánchez

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César Sánchez
Cesar Sanchez VCF.jpg
César in 2010
Personal information
Full nameCésar Sánchez Domínguez [1]
Date of birth (1971-09-02) 2 September 1971 (age 48) [1]
Place of birth Coria, Spain [1]
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) [1]
Playing position(s) Goalkeeper
Youth career
Senior career*
1991–1992 Valladolid B 17 (0)
1992–2000 Valladolid 206 (0)
2000–2005 Real Madrid 59 (0)
2005–2008 Zaragoza 110 (0)
2008–2009 Tottenham Hotspur 0 (0)
2009–2011 Valencia 63 (0)
2011–2012 Villarreal 2 (0)
National team
2000 Spain 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

César Sánchez Domínguez (Spanish pronunciation:  [ˈθesaɾ ˈsantʃeθ] ; born 2 September 1971), sometimes known as simply César, is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper.


In exactly 20 La Liga seasons (the only competition he appeared in as a professional) he played 401 games, with Valladolid, Real Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia and Villarreal, being first-choice in three of those clubs and winning seven major titles with the second, including the 2002 Champions League.

Club career

Valladolid / Real Madrid

César was born in Coria, Cáceres, Extremadura. He graduated from Real Valladolid's youth academy, and made his debut with the first team in a 0–6 home defeat against FC Barcelona where he came on for Mauro Ravnić early into the second half, at the end of the 1991–92 season. [2] He only missed a combined four league games between 1995–2000. [3]

Sánchez signed in 2000–01 for La Liga giants Real Madrid, initially backing-up wonderkid Iker Casillas. However, the following season, he eventually became first-choice and started five out of nine UEFA Champions League matches during the capital side's victorious campaign, but was substituted by Casillas in the final with Bayer 04 Leverkusen after suffering an injury. [4]

Zaragoza / Tottenham

César joined Real Zaragoza for 2005–06, [5] and was everpresent in the Aragonese side's lineups during three seasons. In August 2008, after their relegation to Segunda División, new manager Marcelino García Toral sent the player to the reserves. [6]

Shortly after, Sánchez was bought by Juande Ramos's Tottenham Hotspur. [7] He made his first and only appearance for the London club in a 4–2 victory over Liverpool in the fourth round of the Football League Cup, replacing injured Heurelho Gomes. [8]

Valencia / Later years

César returned to Spain on 20 January 2009, joining Valencia CF on a free transfer until the end of the season [9] as the Che had just lost first-choice Renan to a groin injury, during a 2–3 loss at Athletic Bilbao. Despite this, the former was still named on the bench for a Tottenham game on the 21st, the League Cup semi-final second leg against Burnley; [10] two days later, Tottenham announced that his contract had been cancelled by mutual consent, [11] and he retained his starting status even when the Brazilian recovered from his injury. [12]

After an impressive half-season, César renewed his contract for another year. [13] He started the 2009–10 campaign on the bench, playing second-fiddle to new signing Miguel Ángel Moyá; however, after unconvincing displays by the latter, he regained the starting spot, [14] keeping consecutive clean sheets against Racing de Santander (1–0), [15] defending champions Barcelona (0–0), [16] UD Almería (3–0) [17] and Málaga CF (1–0). [18] In May 2010, after helping Valencia to the third place, with the team consequently returning to the Champions League, the veteran agreed to a further one-year extension. [19]

On 2 April 2011, César became the second oldest goalkeeper in Spanish League history as he appeared – as a starter – in a 4–2 defeat of Getafe CF, aged 39 years and 212 days. [20] He contributed with 15 appearances, as his team finished third and qualified to the Champions League.

However, after the club acquired Diego Alves and renewed youth graduate Vicente Guaita's contract, César became surplus to requirements. On 2 June 2011, he signed a one-year deal with Valencian Community neighbours Villarreal CF, [21] making his league debut on 10 September in a 2–2 home draw against Sevilla FC: after replacing sent off Diego López early into the first half, he stopped the ensuing penalty by Álvaro Negredo, whom however managed to score with a putback. [22] Subsequently, he became only the fifth player to appear in a Spanish top division match over the age of 40, following Harry Lowe, Jacques Songo'o, Amedeo Carboni and Donato. [23] [24]

César returned to the Mestalla Stadium on 20 January 2020, being appointed sporting director on a two-and-a-half-year contract. [25]

International career

César earned his first and only cap for Spain on 16 August 2000, in a 4–1 friendly defeat to Germany in Hannover. [26]


Real Madrid [27]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "CÉSAR Sánchez". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  2. Domènech, Joan (25 May 1992). "Goleada de miedo" [Scary rout](PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  3. Salvador, Alvar (1 June 2013). "Pucelano histórico: César Sánchez" [Historical pucelano: César Sánchez] (in Spanish). Vavel . Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  4. "Madrid win ninth European crown". UEFA. 15 May 2002. Archived from the original on 6 June 2002. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  5. "César switches to Zaragoza". UEFA. 13 June 2005. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  6. Gaudioso, Sonia (8 August 2008). "Juande 'rescata' a César y se lo lleva al Tottenham" [Juande 'rescues' César and takes him to Tottenham]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  7. "Sánchez signs". Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 12 August 2008. Retrieved 19 August 2008.
  8. Lyon, Sam (11 November 2008). "Tottenham 4–2 Liverpool". BBC Sport . Retrieved 12 November 2008.
  9. Barbeta, Amparo (21 January 2009). "César es el elegido" [César is the chosen one]. Levante-EMV (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 January 2009.
  10. Hughes, Ian (21 January 2009). "Burnley 3–2 Tottenham (agg 4–6)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  11. "Sanchez departs". Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
  12. Vara, M.A. (12 June 2009). "Le buscan cesión a Renan y César aún puede renovar" [Loan wanted for Renan and César may still renew]. Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  13. "César renueva con el Valencia" [César renews with Valencia]. Marca (in Spanish). 24 June 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2009.
  14. Carratalá, J. E. (17 February 2010). "¿Qué portero debería jugar contra el Brujas, Moyà o César?" [What goalkeeper should play against Brugge, Moyà or César?]. Super Deporte (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  15. Villalobos, Fran (4 October 2009). "Pinillos se confundió con Zigic" [Pinillos thought he was Zigic]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  16. Aldunate, Ramiro (18 October 2009). "El Valencia frena al líder" [Valencia halt leaders]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  17. "0–3. El Valencia se quita la presión en su visita a Almería" [0–3. Valencia shake pressure off in visit to Almería]. Público (in Spanish). 25 October 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  18. Madden, Paul (1 November 2009). "Malaga 0–1 Valencia: Navarro wins it for Los Che". Goal . Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  19. "Mercado: El Valencia renueva al veterano portero César" [Market: Valencia renew veteran goalkeeper César] (in Spanish). Goal. 20 May 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  20. "César, el portero más veterano de la Liga" [César, the League's most veteran goalkeeper]. Super Deporte (in Spanish). 2 April 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  21. "Cesar Sanchez joins Villarreal – report". Goal. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  22. "Villarreal claim battling draw". ESPN Soccernet. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011.
  23. "Última alegría para el Deportivo" [Last joy for Deportivo] (in Spanish). ESPN Deportes. 21 May 2004. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  24. "Los futbolistas con más edad que han jugado en LaLiga" [Oldest footballers to have played in LaLiga]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 28 December 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  25. Lidón, Inma (20 January 2020). "El Valencia ficha a César Sánchez como director de fútbol" [Valencia sign César Sánchez as director of football]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  26. Gascón, Javier (17 August 2000). "Desastre" [Disaster]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  27. "César". Soccerway. Retrieved 7 July 2018.